A: The signature is handwritten. As to the second part of your question, I wouldn't really recommend either, unless you're very familiar with pipe making and the processes. Most stains and linseed oil have an aromatic quality which can make the pipe taste strange. Instead, I'd suggest just smoking it and letting it color on its own. As you smoke it, the pipe will naturally darken and begin to develop a sheen from the oils in your hand and in the tobaccos.